Down and dirty but no complaints

Passing quickly over the question of whether there was a need for resource consent for introducing foreign bodies into a waterway, the annual initiation rite for residents of Selwyn College took place without the problems associated with last week’s toga party.

The Leith Run is one of many strange initiations at Otago’s oldest residential college, Selwyn College. Students traverse the Leith River beside Otago University, while former residents pelt them with eggs, flour, and rotten food.

The tradition began in 1935 when the sons and daughters of former residents carried a bath tub owned by rivals Knox College safely down the Leith.

When I was at Otago in the mid 70s a group of us from St Margaret’s College (Dunedin’s student residence not to be confused with Christchurch’s private school), borrowed the bath in the middle of the night, painted it with hearts and flowers and put it on St Mag’s front lawn in the expectation someone from Selwyn would notice it when visiting a girl friend.

They did, but only after we asked the local radio station to list it on their daily lost-and-found notice board.

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